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Illustration

Tales From the Loop Enlivens the Gravity-Defying Dystopia of Simon Stålenhag’s Illustrations

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

An uncanny television series is founded in Simon Stålenhag’s fantastical worlds. Covered previously on Colossal, the Swedish artist’s digital illustrations often position robots in open countrysides and consider the prosthetic capabilities of virtual reality. Tales From The Loopwhich gets its name directly from one of Stålenhag’s projects—is set in a fictional universe that explores the potential of merging technology and human curiosity in a futuristic dystopia.

Launching April 3, the television series is based on the understanding that “not everything in life makes sense” as it chronicles the lives of those residing in the Loop, a machine built to uncover answers to the world’s mysteries. It features a gravity-defying universe that sees floating objects, snow ascending from a pile on the floor, and pieces of a house ripped upward. Retro robots even foster relationships with the families and children immersed in the explorative environment.

For a deeper look into the inspiration behind the new show, check out Stålenhag’s book by the same name or head to his Instagram.

All images © Simon Stålenhag, from Tales From the Loop

 

 



Design

Teeth-Baring Dracula Reveals Himself on Sinister Billboard Only When the Sun Sets

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

In a newly released advertisement for BBC One’s remaking of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the iconic vampire stays true to his vile nature and appears only at nightfall. During the day, the sinister promotion depicts blood dripping from stakes driven into the billboard, an allusion to theories about killing vampires. When the sun sets, a haunting shadow appears resembling Dracula with his mouth open and teeth bared, seemingly ready to prey on his next victim. To add to the darkly themed advertisement, creators have included a glass case complete with daggers below the billboard that reads, “in case of vampires, break glass.”

Dracula was created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who also worked on the classics Sherlock and Doctor Who. Chris Hooper, who is in charge of marketing at BBC One, noted in an interview with The Drum, that the advertising campaign wanted to revitalize the portrayal of the classic character. “Each element has been designed to surprise⁠—from the cheeky campaign line, ‘Bloody Legend’, to the use of Lust For Life on the trailers, and this special build, which takes a playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to the legend,” he said. If you’re in either Birmingham and London where the billboards are located, you might even encounter the creepy vampire in person. This play on shadows is also in a similar vein as artists Kumi Yamashita and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Laughable High-jinks of Cartoon Rivals Tom and Jerry Are Recreated Perfectly in Sculptures by Taku Inoue

December 31, 2019

Grace Ebert

Japanese artist Taku Inoue isn’t letting anyone forget the most outlandish moments of Tom and Jerry’s notorious cartoon feud. Through his sculptures showing Tom Cat flattened from sliding underneath a door and Jerry Mouse molded into the shape of a cheese slice, the artist recreates the iconic animated pair’s most painful and hilarious accidents. In the American cartoon series that premiered in 1940, Tom most often finds himself in unfortunate mishaps as he tries and regularly fails to capture Jerry. Many of Inoue’s pieces center the show’s slapstick humor, featuring Tom’s contorted body as he’s stuffed into a water glass or duplicated to resemble bowling pins. Follow all of the artists’s comical sculptures depicting the forever rivals on Twitter and Instagram. (via deMilked)

 

 



Art History

Salvador Dali Answers ‘Yes’ to Almost Every Single Question on the 1950s Game Show ‘What’s My Line?’

July 13, 2017

Christopher Jobson

This clip of artist Salvador Dalí appearing on the game show “What’s My Line?” in 1957 is both charming and quite funny. A group of blindfolded panelists ask round after round of yes-or-no questions to help reveal the identity of the special guest. Due to the breadth of Dali’s work, and perhaps a bit of mischievousness, the surrealist painter finds himself answering “yes” to nearly every single question, much to everyone’s total confusion. With millions of views on YouTube this has probably crossed your path, but if you haven’t seen it, it really is a fun bit of TV. (via Mental Floss)

 

 



Design History

When TV Logos Were Physical Objects

May 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

It goes without saying that nearly everything made with graphic design and video software was once produced using a physical process, from newspapers to TV Logos. But some TV stations and film studios took things even further and designed physical logos that were filmed to create dynamic special effects. Arguably the most famous of which is MGM’s Leo the Lion which first appeared in 1916 and would go on to include 7 different lions over the decades.

Recently, television history buff Andrew Wiseman unearthed this amazing behind-the-scenes shot of the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française logo from the early 1960s that was constructed with an array of strings to provide the identity with a bright shimmer that couldn’t be accomplished with 2D drawings. The logo could also presumably be filmed from different perspectives, though there’s no evidence that was actually done.

Another famous physical TV identity was the BBC’s “globe and mirror” logo in use from 1981 to 1985 that was based on a physical device. After filming the rotating globe against a panoramic mirror, it appears the results were then traced by hand similar to rotoscoping. One of the more elaborate physical TV intro sequences was the 1983 HBO intro that despite giving the impression of being animated or created digitally was in fact built almost entirely with practical effects. You can watch a 10 minute video about how they did it below. (via Quipsologies, Reddit, Andrew Wiseman)

Update: It turns out the BBC Globe ident wasn’t rotoscoped or animated, instead it was recorded live using the Noddy camera system and the color was created by adjusting the contrast. Thanks, Gene!

 

 



Music

Percussive Maintenance: A Supercut of People Banging on Broken Technology in Film and TV

September 25, 2013

Christopher Jobson

Y’know that moment in every TV show and film ever made where the computer/jukebox/radio/appliance stops working and out of desperation the exasperated lead character gives it a good whack? Duncan Robson scoured decades of popular television shows and movies to find dozens of nearly identical moments and gathered them together in Percussive Maintenance. If you liked this also check out Gravity (the same idea but with people falling). (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design

Bitmap Television Alphabet

May 18, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Bath-based designer Jack Archer made this fun alphabet using the lit screens of televisions.

A project inspired by the phrase “Turn off your TV” mentioned in a lecture by adventurer Alastair Humphreys. To illustrate this idea I built a shelving unit to house 15 small televisions; creating a dot-matrix grid where individual TV’s could be turned on or off, to produce different letterforms and numbers.

Gotta love that “T”. (via quipsologies)

 

 

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